Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay

To find a quotation we cite via chapter and paragraph in your book, you can either eyeball it (Paragraph 1-50: beginning of chapter; 50-100: middle of chapter; 100-on: end of chapter), or use the search function if you're using an online or e Reader version of the text. You probably save mementos from travel, or meaningful events, because they represent the experience or your connection a person rather than simply because they are airplane tickets or dried flowers.Just like these mementos are symbols of your feelings, memories, or hopes, so a symbol in a work of literature is something concrete that stands for an abstract idea.

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In the case of The Great Gatsby, watching Gatsby reach in vain for the green light makes us feel his yearning much more than if the author had simply written, "Gatsby wanted to reunite with Daisy." Mostly likely, your assignment will pick out specific symbols for you to analyze.

However, often teachers ask you to find and explore a symbol of your own choosing.

This kind of essay is a great way to show your engagement with the text.

Because you'll stay so close to what is on the page, you'll be protected from making your essay too broad, generalized, and unsupported by evidence. When you're planning your essay, look for each instance of the symbol you'll be discussing.

Authors also use symbolism to tie certain things that may initially seem unimportant to overarching themes, or to connect disparate objects or places to unify a work—all without having to be didactic or moralizing.

For example, in The Great Gatsby, the symbol of the valley of ashes connects West and East Egg to the industrial poverty that the rich Long Islanders would rather simply ignore.In literary analysis, to the maker of the best argument go the spoils. Symbols are objects that carry a literal and one or several figurative meanings, while themes are central ideas that can usually be summed up in a word or a phrase.Symbols help explain themes, demonstrate varying versions of a theme, or build emotional richness into the way a theme works in the book you're reading. This symbol represents a lack of moral oversight in the world of the novel.In other words, it's when an object, a character, or a place doesn't just represent that type of object, but also evokes a feeling or a concept.This means that symbols have several layers of meaning, most of which are often hidden at first.What you are doing when you interpret a symbol is going above and beyond the object's literal definition to see a deeper, less obvious meaning.Remember, symbols do not always have the same meaning or interpretation, so a particular symbol's significance varies depending on context between different works, or even within the same work. A symbol occurs once or a few times, but a motif runs through the whole work.Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.We teach you all the literary devices you must know, the literary elements that appear in every story and first/second/third person POV here.If you're analyzing poetry (or Shakespeare), you'll also want to check out our articles on iambic pentameter and assonance.


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